An Overview of Pancreatic Cancer

The pancreas is a small, spongy gland located between the stomach and the spine. It makes enzymes that aid in digestion and hormones that control blood sugar levels. When malignant cells form in this organ, cancer develops. Since the disease often spreads to other areas like the liver and abdominal wall, it should be given immediate attention. Here are things about this medical concern that you need to learn.

What Are Its Causes?

The things that trigger pancreatic cancer are unclear in most cases. But, doctors have identified factors that are linked to this condition. They are:

  • Diabetes
  • Excessive Alcohol Intake
  • Obesity
  • Pancreatitis
  • Prolonged Exposure to Some Metals, Chemicals, and Dyes
  • Smoking

Existing studies have also shown that this illness can be inherited. Those with two or more first-degree relatives with this ailment are at higher risk of having it. People from certain backgrounds such as the Ashkenazi Jewish are also more prone to this as they commonly carry one of the BRCA genetic mutations in their DNA. To check whether you’ll likely have this disease, consult a doctor with gastrointestinal cancer CE.

What Are Its Types?

Pancreatic cancer is classified depending on where the tumor began. About 93% of cases originate in the exocrine component, which makes the enzymes that break down food. Instances where the growth starts in the endocrine, the part that produces hormones, are less common.

What Are Its Symptoms?

Individuals with pancreatic cancer often feel pain in the upper or middle abdomen and back. Other signs include:

  • Changes in the Stool
  • Dark Urine
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice (Yellowing of the Skin and Eyes)
  • Loss of Appetite and Weight
  • Nausea

What Are Its Treatments?

Medical practitioners first conduct imaging tests like CT scans and ultrasounds. These help them classify whether the tumor is removable by surgery. Here are the categories:

  • Resectable: It hasn’t spread yet, so it’s likely removable through an operation.
  • Unresectable: It has affected major blood vessels, so the procedure might be unsafe.
  • Metastatic: It has infected other organs, so surgery can’t be performed.

If it can’t be eliminated by abscission, there are other treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. These options can also be combined, depending on the doctor’s advice.

Tumor in the pancreas spreads and negatively affects the body if not treated immediately. If you have or suspect you’re prone to this condition, get yourself checked by a doctor with gastrointestinal cancer CME. They’re experts in the GI tract, so they’ll provide an accurate diagnosis and appropriate interventions.

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